Revealed: Best Way to Send Money to India from UK (2021 Update)

Looking for the best way to send money to India from the UK online?

In 2021, there are a lot of different options at your disposal but finding the one that’s right for you is the challenge.

In this post, that’s EXACTLY what I will show you – the best money transfer to India from the UK that gets you the best rate for GBP to INR.

I’ve included the best money transfer options out there – including money transfer fees, best sign-up deals and tips that can help you get the best exchange rates.

I looked at 20+ options that offer UK to India remittance services with the below criteria in mind:

  • Which service offers the best GBP to INR exchange rates?
  • How much does your recipient get after deducing all fees and charges
  • How much do you “actually” pay as fees (taking into account the exchange rate markup)?
  • How long does the money transfer take?

Let’s dive right in.

Disclosure: This guide contains affiliate links that may earn a commission (at absolutely no extra cost to you) if you decide to use the services using our link. However, that doesn’t influence our content and these are the best ways to transfer money from the UK to India (GBP to INR) I found effective for 2021. For more information, you can read my affiliate disclosure.

Best ways to send money from UK to India Online

Short on time? Here’s a quick summary for you.

The best online money transfers to India from the UK based on the overall amount received by your recipients after deducting fees and any other charges (including exchange rate margins).

Getting the best exchange rates deals requires a bit of research!

During my quest for the most reliable money transfer option, I experimented a lot.

I transferred GBP to INR using many different companies/banks (big and small!) that offer money transfer services to India from the UK.

If done right, it can save you a lot in conversion rates and fees.

But you have to stay with me:

In a sudden stroke of serendipity, I came across great bank alternatives that offer great service and are much cheaper to transfer money from the UK to an Indian bank account.

These disruptive companies convert your Pounds at mid-market rates and are much better off for Rupee per GBP converted than conventional banks.

It took me many years to realise the issue of sending money via my bank.

Looking back at the amount of money I transferred through the currency exchange service offered by my bank, the math runs into mind-boggling figures (more about that in a different post, maybe!)

I wonder how much I could have saved by not sticking with my bank!

Banks often hide their costs in the exchange rate they offer. Any particular reason I chose to stay with them? I don’t know!

Maybe I was too scared to try any other company and risk my money transfer?

Or, perhaps I was too lazy (ask my wife about that!) to shop around! Or, a mix of both!

What if they take payment from me in the UK and don’t transfer it to my Indian account? What if they go bust? And a hundred other thoughts which don’t make sense to me today, having tried the alternatives of transferring money from the UK to India.

Related: Is it illegal to send money to my resident savings account in India?

Now, after all these years, I laugh at the scared-lazy-me from the past. And feel so happy to have made the switch. If the above personal experience doesn’t motivate you to switch, nothing else can!

What’s the big secret I am talking about?

I wanted to bring some of the best money transfer alternatives to banks – convenient, low-cost alternatives that allow you to transfer money from the UK to India, along with the features they offer and the associated fees.

Related: What is the best time to send money to India?

I will keep this guide updated. I insist you bookmark this page as your go-to guide for transferring money to India from the UK.

Best ways to transfer money from UK to India

To understand the best ways to transfer money to India, let’s quickly look at what ISN’T the best way!

A recent study of six of the leading UK’s banks charging fees on overseas transfers by small firms in the UK showed that up to 96% of transfer revenue came NOT from overseas money transfer fees advertised by these banks but from exchange rates.

Read that last bit again!

A similar markup is added to your transactions, and banks never pay you at the mid-market rate. An advertised Fee Free Transfer is not really FREE.

Is it?

So, avoid banks when transferring money overseas to India without shopping around!

Before each transfer, I shop around to see which service provides the best conversion rates, look at the calculations, fees, etc., and finally choose the winner.

I do this on almost every single money transfer that I do now.

Now without further ado, let me show you how to transfer money from the UK to India at competitive rates to help you choose the best money transfer to India from the UK.

Sending money to India online is pretty easy – you sign up with the money transfer company you like, add your recipient details, pay them in local currency (GBP) and submit your request.

In many cases, you’ll be required to submit a few documents for verification purposes. Below, I have covered some of my favourites that I have used recently and can recommend.

Wise (formerly TransferWise)

Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is one of the most trusted names in the money transfer space.

Launched in 2011, Wise has been at the forefront of bringing transparency to the remittance industry by using mid-market exchange rates (adding no markups) and charging low fees.

In my quest for the best money transfer to India from the UK, Wise (known as TransferWise back then) was the first service to which I moved when I finally broke up with my bank for sending my salary from the UK to India every month.

My family is back in India, and I have been using TransferWise personally for many years now.

To read more about my experiences with TransferWise, head over to my in-depth review of Wise.

Wise uses smart peer-to-peer tech, which enables them to offer real mid-market rates which you see on Google or XE.

(Related: How does TransferWise work?)

I still shop around to ensure I still get the best exchange rate to transfer money from the UK to India, but Transferwise is almost every time the first site I check.

There are a few things that I just love about Wise.

The first is the transparency of the conversion rate that’s applied and the transparent fees structure. Upfront guaranteed rates and fees remove the uncertainty on the amount your recipient will get – a loophole that banks take advantage of paying you less.

Another thing is how quickly the money gets delivered to your Indian bank account after you pay Wise locally in the UK.

Taking an average of the number of times I used Transferwise for money transfer to India, it used to take 1-2 working days to arrive in my recipient’s Indian bank account. However, most of the time, it was credited the next morning.

With advancements over the years, my GBP transfers to India (INR) using TransferWise take under a minute to arrive (and in most cases under 30 seconds) after sending funds to the TransferWise account.

Of course, sending over a weekend or on holiday would add a lag, so if you time your transfer during Indian banking hours, I’ve experienced them to be instant – if under-a-minute counts as an instant transfer, that is – I think it qualifies. 😉

Update May 2018: It took just under 10 minutes for money to be credited to my Indian account.

Update Jan 2019: For the first transfer I did for 2019, TransferWise has further cut down on time taken, and this time the money reached my account in India in 29 seconds.

The reason for the quick remittance is: TransferWise delivers money locally, and your recipient gets Indian Rupees directly from Transferwise’s Indian bank account.

And, it transfers at the mid-market rate, which has always been more than the banks.

Key Features:

  • Uses mid-market exchange rates (the rate you see on Google/XE)
  • Transparent fees structure (all fees shown upfront)
  • Exact amount shown what your recipient will receive
  • Rated 4.6/5.0 (Excellent) on Trustpilot based on 131,547 customer reviews

To know more about Wise (fka TransferWise), you can read my in-depth Wise review.

Wise Fees for UK to India money transfers

Wise fees is very competitively priced for the UK to India corridor.

The low cost transfer fee is comprised of a mix of fixed fees (£0.29) and a variable fee (0.45% of the total amount sent).

To give you an idea, for converting £1000 to INR, the total fees is £4.77 (£0.29 fixed fee + £4.48 variable fee).

Apart from this fees, there is no hidden exchange rate markup added to your transfer.

How to send money to India from UK with Transferwise?

Transferring money to India with TransferWise from the UK is pretty simple and can be done using the below easy steps.

  1. Check Wise rates. Go to this link and enter the amount you want to convert from GBP to INR. You’ll see the applicable exchange rate used for conversion along with the fees and delivery timelines.
  2. Create a free Wise account. To place a remittance request with Wise at the mid-market rate offered, click “Get started” and sign up using your email or one of the social login options – Apple, Google or Facebook.
  3. Provide your recipient details. Enter the account details of your recipient in India. You need to do this only for the first time. Then follow the on-screen instructions. Next time, you can use the saved details if you want to use the same recipient.
  4. Pay Wise and confirm transfer. Transfer GB Pounds from your UK bank account to Transferwise bank account in the UK. You can pay in £s using your UK debit card, credit card or other payment methods like Apple Pay as well (the applicable fees will be shown).

That’s it.

Wise will now convert your source currency (UK Pounds) to Indian Rupees at the decided rate, and your recipient will get paid the amount in Indian Rupees from TransferWise’s bank account locally in India.

Bonus Tip: If you are still unsure about how better the TransferWise rate is, compare the money offered by your bank using this calculator now.

Xendpay

On my lookout for a cost-effective way to transfer money from the UK to India, Xendpay is another entry to my list.

It has become one of my favourites – mainly because they initially offer a ‘Pay What You Want‘ option, which means you can pay whatever fee you want for the money transfer.

In addition to this, Xendpay offers very competitive rates on the market, which often beats Transferwise, making Xendpay another cheap way of sending funds to India from the UK.

And, who doesn’t want extra per every British Pound?

A few things which I liked about Xendpay:

Transparency in conversion rate, transfer costs and cheap fee (Zero initially under “Pay What You Want” model – Xendpay allows you to enter ‘0’ (impressive!), but I suggest you pay some amount for Xendpay to keep providing this great offer!)

On average, transfer from the UK to India took 2-3 working days (most of the time, it arrived in my Indian bank account on the 2nd business day).

The verification process to extend your transfer limits is easy – upload two documents, one for address and one for identity proof and it for me, got verified on the same day.

Bonus Tip: Take advantage of the Xendpay promo code and get £10 off whenever you transfer your first $100 (approx. £70). If you transfer your first £70, you will pay only £60 from your bank account – a flat discount of 14%. This means an extra Rs. 1000 in your account on your first transfer with Xendpay.

Banks never give such offers!

How to transfer money to India from UK with Xendpay?

Transferring money to India using Xendpay is quite straightforward. Just like shopping on Amazon!

  1. Create an account on Xendpay and login to your profile.
  2. Look out for ‘Send Money’ tile on the Dashboard. That takes you to Currency Calculator where you can enter the amount of GB Pounds you want to convert to Indian Rupees.
  3. When you use Xendpay for the first time, it will allow you to transfer only £900. If you want this limit removed, you can upload your identity and address proof documents to get your account verified.
  4. Enter recipient details – you need to enter these only for the first time, and you can re-use them for future transfers.
  5. Next, review the details and make a payment using one of the payment methods presented. Use bank transfer or debit card instead of a credit card to avoid any additional charges. Confirm your request!

Remember: If you use my link to sign up, you will get £10 off your first transfer (find more details about the Xendpay offer). So, if you use the full limit for an unverified account, you will only pay £890 to transfer £900 to India.

(£10 OFF on first transfer)

WorldRemit

WorldRemit is a relatively new addition to my arsenal of services that provide a cost-effective solution for transferring money to India from the UK. Given that WorldRemit charges a flat low transfer fee of £1.99, it makes sense to send money using WR if you are moving large amounts.

Check WorldRemit promo page to see how you can bring the fees down to £0.

Unlike other companies on this list for which the fee increases as you increase the GBP amount, WorldRemit has a cheap fixed-fee tariff. You end up getting better overall exchange rates for bigger amounts as the fee stays the same for any amount you send.

How to transfer money from UK to India with WorldRemit?

Initiating money transfer from the UK to India using WorldRemit is similar to other services on this list. For your convenience, I have briefly mentioned the step-by-step procedure.

  1. Register at WorldRemit.com and login to your profile.
  2. Select the country of remit and add recipient details.
  3. Raise a money transfer request and send money to WorldRemit account. It will then be transferred to your recipient’s account in India in 1-2 working days.

Fees: WorldRemit charges a flat £1.99 fee for any amount you remit. It saves some serious moolah if you are sending a large amount. You can use the WorldRemit promo code and pay £0 fees on your first 3 transfers.

The few things I liked about WorldRemit: Guaranteed exchange rates, low £1.99 fees displayed upfront (and £0 fee for your first three transfers using the promo discount I gave you!).

Bonus Tip: Use WorldRemit if you need to transfer a larger amount (over £3000) – the £1.99 cost is justified as you increase the amount you send to India.

Comparing the options on this post, you can start with Xendpay to get the £10 off on your first transfer before using WorldRemit. This way, you cut down on the cost you would otherwise pay towards transfer fees.

(3 FREE transfers)

Send money to India from UK with Banks?

You’ll agree with me when I say:

One of the main reasons you moved to the UK is better remuneration than similar jobs in India.

You worked hard staying away from your family to support them, and give them a better life.

With the hard-earned salary, you send money to family members in India to support them financially.

If you don’t get the optimum value for your hard-earned money due to greedy intermediaries (banks!), you could be losing lakhs of rupees over the years on your UK to India money transfer.

Whether you want to buy a house in India, send money to support your family, or save for retirement, you could be losing a lot using traditional ways of transferring money to India and sticking to a single company/bank!

Well, I did!

How? When you send money to India from overseas using your bank, banks charge hidden fees.

You might ask:

How can the banks charge more for money transfers to India when the advert says “Zero Fee Transfer.”

The truth about “Zero Fee Transfers.”

Banks charge you hidden fees for your international payments even though the advertisement might flaunt “Fee Free Transfers.”

It’s just that you don’t realise you are getting stung.

You act lazy to walk away from your trusted bank. That’s because the banks advertise it as ‘Zero fee transfer’, and you end up believing the marketing gimmick.

But the reality is:

Banks aren’t usually your best option when converting currency!

In my detailed guide on sending money to India, I already told you that sending money using your bank without researching is not a superb idea.

(If you haven’t read my comprehensive guide about India remittance, now is an excellent time to do it! Here’s the link.)

Is there any limit to send money to India from UK?

There’s no legal limit on how much money you can send from the UK to India. However, individual money transfer providers can impose their own daily/monthly limits on international transfers.

When such remittance limits come into question, we need to look at the rules in the sending country (UK) and the recipient country (India).

In the UK, there is no upper limit on how much money you can send overseas from the UK using any payment method – online transfer, wire transfer, or cash.

Likewise, in India, there is no upper limit on how much money you can receive in India, though you may be legally obliged to declare it for tax purposes depending on the source of funds.


Send money to India from UK – Summary

So there you have it – a list of the best, cost-effective ways to send money to India from the UK in 2021.

Feel free to contact me in the comments below if you face any issues when sending money to India with Transferwise, Xendpay, WorldRemit or any other service.

I plan to explore many more services that offer money transfers to India and grab some fresh deals for you.

Do sign up for my free newsletter, so you don’t miss any of my future posts.

I hope this post gives you a better understanding of why remitting funds to India via banks might not be the smartest idea.

You now know about cost-effective, smart and cheaper alternatives to banks to help you make a better decision for your next UK to India money transfers.

How do you send money to India? I am interested to know which currency exchange service works best for you for your remittances to India?

If you found this post useful, please share it with your friends, family members and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp.

I would appreciate it if you could help me spread the word about Comparism.

So why not make a start today by sharing this post and tagging Comparism? 😉

Frequently Asked Questions about money transfer to India from UK

22 thoughts on “Revealed: Best Way to Send Money to India from UK (2021 Update)”

    1. Hey Tim, TransferWise is well reputed and safe, they were one of the first to disrupt the money transfer industry that had been long monopolized by banks – you can rest assured and send an ID to them. 🙂

  1. Hmm, Transferwise is not fast, tried to send some money to an Indian company that only does bank orders via credit card and got this:

    “Sorry, it’s looking like your transfer will arrive later than expected.

    TransferWise is a safe and regulated way to send and receive money. That means we check transfers before we send them.

    But this time our checks are taking a little longer, and we’re sorry about that. Your transfer should now arrive on October 21.”

    That’s a bit crap. And the ‘free’ transaction via your link cost me 50p. Not impressed.

    1. Hi again Tim, I hope my comment here helps: https://www.comparism.com/transferwise-review/#comment-3749

      If that helps, it could be just me but because of the specific route – bank order via credit card. As I have never got this issue reported by other users for first transfers. I hope your transfer reaches the Indian company soon as whenever the transaction is delayed due to additional checks or due to the transfer being made outside banking hours in India (from my experience), the money reaches by the updated timeline.

      Please let me know how it goes.

  2. You didn’t compare MoneyGram also you didn’t say anything about customer service which is very important while transferring money

    1. Hi Tas,

      You can try InstaReM for India to UK transfers. I am going to write a details post on various methods but I think InstaReM is a good option.

      Please let me know how you find their service.

      Thanks
      Aman

  3. Hi Aman
    Does this work with NRE accounts ? If so what is the process.
    I was told GBP has to deposited into these then the bank converts to INR.
    New to all this so.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Joe,

      Yes, you can transfer GBP from the UK to your NRE account – any foreign currency sent to an NRE account is converted to INR.

      The benefit with an NRE account over an NRO account is: you can transfer (repatriate) the money back to the UK when you need.

      The process goes like this:

      • Pick one of the money transfer companies (let’s take TransferWise as an example) and sign up for a free account.
      • Add the details of your recipient account in India (your own NRE account details in this case)
      • Submit the transfer request and make payment in GBP to TransferWise
      • TransferWise will convert the amount into INR and transfer it to your NRE account.
  4. Thanks Aman !
    Nice article

    Just to add i found western union as a good option as per their website but haven’t used it in real. Any experience with them?

  5. Dear Aman,

    I went through your excellent effort. Unfortunately, none of the sites gives you a conversion rate upfront till you get into it. I used my Lloyds account once and paid GBP 15 on 500! Never again. I switched to Transferwise. Since then I have an account in SBI UK and they have no charges for sending funds to India for account holders. They have a rubbish online banking website but it works for what you need. Today their rate was the 3rd best and it was better than Transferwise (about Rs 60 better on GBP 501. The SBI UK debit card can also be used in Indian ATM without a charge, but do remember the exchange rates for cash are lower than the rates for electronic transfers (in the papers in India there used to be Cash and TT rates), so they make their money on that difference. The best way to avoid losing money is to keep the currencies separate and never convert, but that isn’t possible. Also one should minimise the number of transactions and try to move all the money in one go. I thought you could look into SBI UK as an alternative as the rates seemed competitive (no personal interest there :).)They also give you pretty good savings account interest rates.

  6. Hi Aman,

    Can I use Xendpay or Transferwise to transfer money from Germany to my Indian NRE account?

    I heard NRE account cannot be credited directly with INR.

    Please let me know.

    Thanks,

    Rahul

    1. Hi Rahul, yes you definitely can use any of those services to send money to India from Germany.

      You can credit INR directly to NRE account without any issues.

      Thanks.

  7. Hey mate,awesome post.I am the same ,scared to lose and lazy to shop around.But your post emboldened me to take the next step to shift from my bank.Am using transferwise for now.
    Mate can I also request you something.Cheap plane services to india over a long term?? My wife clocked up 31000 miles on Qatar airways and they are offering a free one way ticket , to be used in next 6 months.I am a classic Indian.Mera bharat Mahaan guy. I use jet airways,sometimes can get a bit expensive, but to promote indian industry and economy, thats my bit of giving back to my country.Definitely my wife is not amused at that and lo !!!Ahoy she wins one day.Free ticket.Abey free ticket!!Yes ,so my wife clocked 31000miles over 3 years(she travelled to US 6 times-to and fro from india and UK and india to uk and usa to uk-totally 14 trips in 3 years-all via qatar airways) and she wins ,I do not know if its a 1 time offer for the miles covered or a permanent policy of qatar.I will still stick to my dear old air india and jet airways.
    air india belongs to star alliance and jet to another.And I am not as frequent flyer as my wifey(biwi bolo tho pathi ka paisa udaana-classic andhra girl).So due to air india and jet belonging to different miles alliances, I am losing money on a long term.
    So my question, since you seem to be good at research, Can I request you to research and post the best frequent flyer program to india and Uk.
    Thanking you,
    Warm regards,
    Sharat Vadde.
    Mera Bharat Mahaan.

    1. Haha Sharat – somehow your comment had gone into spam and only found it today.

      Loved your post mate, really enjoyed reading it 😉

  8. Thanks a lot Aman for these great ideas and deals.
    I used to waste hours on finding deals and information about different providers but made it very easy for us.
    I have used your referral for my transfers through xendpay, transferwise & lebara and saved more that £25 so far 🙂
    Its such an amazing place to find all the details about money transfer. Thanks again. Keep up the great work.

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